Ideological cost of civil war

Syrian civil war to be free of a sectarian nature... In other words, the countries in the region to refrain from adopting a strategy that gives prominence to sectarian elements...

Ideological cost of civil war

Akif Emre

The war in Syria is gradually taking a more complex and bloody state. It is most likely the attempts of sides to play their final trump cards before sitting at the table to start bargaining with an advantage. A people's existence is being gambled on for the sake of strategic plans. The thing that I had hoped would not happen ever since beginning of the ongoing Syrian war or proxy war happened too early in time: The war to be free of a sectarian nature... In other words, the countries in the region to refrain from adopting a strategy that gives prominence to sectarian elements... Saudi Arabia and the gulf countries did not give the impression of a direct military intervention in addition to their military, logistic and financial supports. However, Saudi Arabia's provocative sectarian attitude in particular, since the beginning, virtually became grounds for the front's sectarian intervention. Turkey aligning with opposition forces with both humanitarian aid and political support, led to suspicion of covert support and gave the impression that it was in Saudi Arabia's sectarian front.

Meanwhile, Iran entering the field via Hezbollah in the Syrian civil war, which it turned into a matter of life and death, so to speak, has well and truly fixated the conflict to a sectarian axis. Two regional powers like Turkey and Iran clashing with one another in a civil war for sectarian purposes will lead to a regional disaster beyond the two countries' traditional competition. We cautioned this from time to time. Russia stepping in now has created not an explicit but implicit cold war equation. When we add to this the atmosphere that resulted from the Paris attacks, it evolves into a new equilibrium as the argument of a global competition that goes beyond who and what both Bashar Assad and the opposition forces are defending.

In recent weeks the Syria issue gained a new dimension in Turkey. More precisely, an attitude that gives prominence to Turkmens rather than all opposition groups, has come to circulate in Turkish media. The Assad regime's attack on Bayırbucak Turkmens was presented as an attack on the Turkmen identity rather than an attack on an opposition front. It is obvious that a new strategy is being developed in the public opinion through sensitivity. There is benefit in taking into consideration this discourse made through this Turkmen perception together with the U.S.-backed safe zone operation.

All these are part of a state game and in a civil war that lasts so long, all kinds of state games are displayed. Unfortunately, we have witnessed that the sides claiming to be Muslim hold their political and strategic plans above everything.

As the war in Syria continues, developments that are expecting results which will leave deep marks on Turkey's sociology and politics have taken place and continue to do so. The developments on Turkmen Mountain also indicate a new situation in terms of the developments for which we have started to pay the price.

Analyses such as the sides, strategic balances and political outcomes in Syria aside, the correspondence of this in Turkey is not mentioned much.

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With anti-Baathist opposition groups in Syria starting an armed struggle, in other words, with the struggle turning into a civil war, those going from Turkey to support opposition forces were given particular prominence. As the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) started to gain importance within the opposition and at the same time started to strike opposition too, the movement perception in Syria became synonymous with ISIL… ISIL starting mass massacres inside Turkey was nothing other than the feared results of this process. It was clear through the organization's methods of terror that it will not recognize any measure or term to destroy all targets it considers an obstacle as it becomes cornered in Syria.

The reflection of the civil war in Syria on Turkey is of course not limited to those going to fight in ISIL ranks alone. There are also other formations that are overshadowed by ISIL and whose names are not yet known much. Sectarian organizations supporting the Baath regime against the opposition forces were mentioned in media from time to time. In fact, despite carrying out a bomb attack, they weren't emphasized enough. This was a complete war experience field for the illegal organizational extensions of these leftist formations giving prominence to their sectarian identity.

On the other hand, leftist-socialist organizations found the opportunity to gain experience in the field in solidarity with Kurdist groups. Nobody paid any attention to the social cost of those who joined the armed struggle within the legitimacy of the discourse raised of the Rojava romanticism.

Political Kurdist movements gathering recruits from Turkey, generally against ISIL, but privately over Syria, was not questioned with the presentation of an almost a legal, compulsory obligation. It is likely that one of the most expansive participations was the human support to the secular Kurdish formation in Syria.

In addition to all these known stories, there are signs that the Turkist channels have also taken action through Turkmen Mountain. Although not very organized, it was known that Turkish nationalists had gone to fight independent of hierarchy. Although not very efficient in comparison to participation in Kurd/ist movements and opposition, going to the front on behalf of Turkish nationalists is new.

When a list is made of the likely harming effects that will emerge in the long-term in addition to the economic and political costs of the civil war, the resulting picture is alarming. On the one side you have the neo-unionists going to Syria to make a revolution and on the other side you have those who take up arms to make true their socialist utopia… The armed Kurdist movement, which already has enough ground, gaining new lands and reaching sections from different ideological backgrounds became possible in the recent period. The sectarian left illegality, whose history is extremely dubious, openly joining the way deepens the wound.

We hope that the end of the Syrian civil war and bloodshed, which has become a field for ideological groups from Turkey to make true their utopia and gain armed experience, will not remain merely as a wish. However, those governing Turkey need to consider both the political and social cost of the civil war.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Kasım 2015, 12:18
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